Monday, December 18, 2006

Holiday Recipes: Batata Harra

I'm traumatized. I use Tracksy ( to monitor traffic to the blog. Great tool. Anyway, with all the politicizing and religious-izing on this blog, the highest hit was on Mjadra Hamra A La Sud Libanaise. Continuous hits over the last few months. Turns out people care less about politics and people's rights to exist, and pay more attention to what they will have for dinner.

I have to concede, they are perfectly right.

I am in a good mood for Christmas/New Year/Adha Holiday. Although this has been a sad year for Lebanon, we still set up the Christmas Tree, and decorated it (a bit more conservatively though). And for those of you who will have people over for Christmas (or Adha, or even Hanukah for our Jewish friends in Occupied Palestine, and the rest of the world), maybe you would want to cook something exotic for them over the holidays.

This comes from Mum's Notebook. She wrote tens of recipes for me when I moved house, and moved country. Recipes are made for complete cooking idiots (I am number one), but I can assure you they work just fine.

Happy Holidays.

Batata Harra بطاطا حرّة

(Lebanese Spicy Potatoes with Coriander/Pomme Frites au Coriandre a la Libanaise)

4- medium sized potatoes

4- garlic cloves

2 – tea spoons of Dry Coriander (or green chopped coriander)

Lemon Juice – half a Lemon


Oil (and why not, an tablespoon of virgin olive oil)

Chop potatoes into small cubes (not too small – preferably 1.5 cm cubes – 1/2 inch)

Fry in very hot oil (only half time). Remove from oil, let cool down, then refry until brownish and well done (that will get the potatoes crispy – same technique can be used for the Pomme Frites – French Fries).

Crush the garlic with some salt, and stir fry with some oil, then add the coriander and stir fry for a minute or so until the green coriander shrivels a bit (use your eyes, then nose, if you smell something good, stop after you count to 15).

Add the fried potatoes, then squeeze some lemon and lift. Serve Hot.

My favourite combination is Bata Harra, with Hindiba (Chicory - a green herb thing made into a salad like format: boiled quickly, then stir fried with onions/lemon, salt.. will check the recipe.. don’t have it in the notebook!! So, don’t cook anything until I get the right things to do).


  1. hehe

    hello my friend..

    a few comments:

    (a) "or even Hanukah for our Jewish friends in Occupied Palestine" i love this comment.. in the same breath you call me a friend and an occupier :) - well phraseology aside i do consider you a friend but i dont consider myself an occupier..

    (b) we use the word batata for sweet potato..

    hoping one day our region will permit us to easily share such recipes in person..

    happy holidays


  2. Lirun,

    I accept the friendship and treasure it. I also understand that wonderful as you are, you cannot be perfect -:))

    I would add that I hope one day our region will permit us to easily uncover how much we have in common..

  3. its a shame i missed this comment when it was written..


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